Jaguar Land Rover expansion outlined

Jaguar Land Rover expansion outlined

Jaguar Land Rover and Coventry City Council have announced plans to consult on an expansion of its R&D centre at Whitley, potentially creating thousands of jobs.

The news reaffirms the manufacturers commitment to the West Midlands with the region at the heart of the group’s plans for global growth.

The plans focus on a major expansion of the company’s facilities at Whitley and propose a new campus development covering JLR’s current site alongside part of a new 60 acre site south of Whitley. 

A planning application to develop the site is expected to be submitted to Coventry City Council and Warwick District Council by 8 February.

Jaguar Land Rover is expected to take half the 60 acre site with the rest of the site snapped up by tier one - immediate - suppliers to the manufacturing giant.

The announcement comes after months of detailed negotiations between Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Jaguar Land Rover.

The LEP is bidding for a government grant of £40m to build the infrastructure needed to support the expansion – including a new bridge across the A45 to link both sites.

This follows and is in addition to the £10m worth of government funding for road improvements around Whitley that led to the company announcing £300m expansion plans last year.

The development could also lead to the creation of 30 acres of open woodland and countryside walks between the Lunt Fort, Baginton and the new campus.

Cllr Ann Lucas, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “This is a game changer for the city. This will further cement Coventry’s role at the heart of automotive innovation, growth and success.

“Our two world class universities, our can-do attitude and our ability to work with the private sector to deliver what successful manufacturers need if they are to stay and expand here have all played their part in convincing Jaguar Land Rover that Coventry is the right place to be at the heart of their expansion plans.

“Jaguar Land Rover – one of Britain’s greatest success stories – is putting its faith in this city to deliver its future and we will not let them down.

“I am so proud of the hard work that’s gone into making this deal happen from a range of people including senior officers at the Council, the LEP and Lord Bhattarcharya – who is such a champion of Coventry and who has done so much for this city already.”

Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, added: “It is hard to over-state the importance of this announcement.

“It will provide new jobs and improved infrastructure and will help cement Coventry and Warwickshire’s place as a global centre of research and development in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector, which is a key economic driver for this area.

“It will also be heartening news for the many companies across the Midlands who have helped Jaguar Land Rover achieve its growth.

“We’re confident our bid for the funding needed for the infrastructure will be recognised by the government as another signal of the LEP’s effective use of public funding on infrastructure projects.

"These have opened up key sites to allow private industry to deliver investment, growth and jobs.

“This funding should therefore reinforce Chancellor George Osborne's recent comments about the strength of this area with the government recognising the work of the LEP and our partners.

"At the same time, we are not relaxing, we know there is still plenty more to do to keep driving our local economy forward.”

Coventry City Council and Jaguar Land Rover will carry out public consultation on the scheme between 21 and 23 January.

Local people will also be able to have their say on the planning application when it is submitted.

If the plans are given the green light, work is expected to get underway on the scheme by the end of the year.